Charlie the unicorn bit me: Top 10 viral videos of the decade
Published: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 5:48pm
Once upon a time, the words "viral" and "video" were never, ever placed directly next to each other. In fact, some more senior news presenters still seem a bit befuddled when presenting news about viral videos. But ever since YouTube took the world by storm, viral videos have abounded. From people performing amazing feats of whatever you can think of to a gopher being "dramatic," viral videos are everywhere. I took on the daunting task of cataloging some of the more memorable videos of the past decade. I would call it impossible to choose a video that is the "best" — I mean, some people actually find the gopher video entertaining — but it is possible to pick out a few that stood out.
The Mysterious Ticking Noise
Snape, Snape, Severus Snape! What started off as a small video made by a couple of teens to proclaim their love for Harry Potter turned into a huge craze. People on buses, subways, and at school just randomly burst into this catchy tune. But will it end happily? Not if good old Voldemort has anything to say.
Charlie Goes to Candy Mountain (series)
There’s not really much to explain about this, other than Charlie needs to go to Candy Mountain. Right now. Other than that, anything and everything’s fair game. Dancing candy? Check. Creepy unicorns? Double Check. This one’s a little weird, but extremely entertaining in its improbability. Check out Part 2 for uplifting dancing bananas.
They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard
"Lord of the Rings" is too long to be called viral in and of itself (even though it did spawn a cult phenomenon), but a clip taken and played over and over again did manage to go viral. Where are they taking the hobbits? To Isengard, to Isengard. Somehow, Legolas always seems to have the right words.
This was one of the first videos to really take the Internet by storm. Who knows what Gary Brolsma was thinking when he recorded himself dancing and lip-syncing to Dragostea Din Tei, a Romanian pop song? He became ridiculously famous (as people with great lip-syncing talent well deserve) but withdrew from the spotlight when it became just too much. Nevertheless, the video spread, and suddenly everyone was singing and imitating “The Numa Numa Guy.”
Swarms of people in orange jumpsuits, performing Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" Dance — where could this happen? As it turns out, in a Filipino prison. Originally organized to keep the inmates occupied and give them exercise, it's become extremely popular (check out the buff prison inmate in a pink halter top.) They’ve done many other songs and give monthly presentations to an audience from viewing platforms. Visitors can even buy mugs and have their pictures taken with the inmates.
This video was a true surprise. When Tay Zonday opens his mouth, a sound comes out that is absolutely unexpected. Sure, the lyrics are a little banal and it goes on for ages, but it’s worth at least watching the first minute or so. Also, I was a little disappointed when I found out he's 27 and not 14.
Original iPod Ads
The iPod is an integral part of this last decade, and it would be a shame to leave the original ads out of this list. Bright backgrounds with silhouettes of people dancing to the music playing on their bright white iPods? It made me want one. To this day, any song played on an iPod ad becomes and immediate hit.
It’s truly amazing that this video became so huge. Clocking in at an impressive 14 seconds, all this video consists of is a tiny baby panda sneezing and scaring the crap out of a huge panda chewing on some bamboo. That. Is. It.
Charlie Bit Me
Oh, the things that people film and put on YouTube. Baby Charlie finds it hilariously funny to bite his older brother’s finger. Hard. And better yet, it’s the brother who puts his finger in the baby’s mouth. Classic. Also, check out the new autotuned version of this video. Oddly enough, it sounds like a lot of songs played on the radio these days.
Where the Hell is Matt?
Matt Harding, a video game designer, was traveling in Vietnam with some friends when they suggested that he do his famous “elbow jig” for the camera. The video traveled around, and eventually a video of him dancing made its way to Stride, which agreed to sponsor trips around the world for him. His video now features him dancing all over the world, from the the West Bank to Sydney to Timbuktu. It’s amazing how people can come together to create something beautiful.
- Battle at Kruger
A little long, but rewarding to the patient viewer.
- Peekaboo Kitty
I'm not a cat person, but if I had this cat, things would change.
- Diet Coke + Mentos
We've all wondered what would happen. Now you can find out without making a mess!
- Zidane Headbutt
Shame to those who do not know this.
- Leave Britney Alone
Britney Spears sure has one passionate fan.
Any others? Leave a comment below!